General Computer Corp’s Crazy Otto hits Mame in 2010

I don’t follow Mame news all that much, so thanks to Dan of arcadeflyers for the heads up. Apparently early next year emulation of another piece of gaming history will be available for all to play.

Crazy Otto Screenshot

What is Crazy Otto?

Crazy Otto, which eventually became Ms. Pac-man, was GCC’s pitch to Midway as a kit to go into existing Pac-man machines. If you remember we just recently spotlit the photo albums from inside the General Computer Corp facility. You can watch a little bit of GC history in this Play Value video (warning, extremely annoying narration).

The Gameroom at GCC

On Arcade-History there is a note that there were a couple of these Crazy Otto machines being tested on location in Boston and Chicago, probably before Doug Macrae and Kevin Curran made the pitch to give them some data in their presentation to Midway. Apparently, over the span of seven years and some consistent follow up, someone from the Mame project kept in touch with one of the GCC engineers, Steve Golson, and they now have a couple of candidates for release.

A lot of hope in the Crazy Otto thread on Mameworld for other long lost games to be available to play. I didn’t realize that Data East’s Manhattan was one of them, and there is a lot of talk about Ms. Gorf.

I’m just glad I’ll be going to CAX this year to try out GCC’s Nightmare.

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Awesome news!!!

As a fan of the pac series, this game has always peaked my curiousity the most. I was beginning to believe Crazy Otto was just urban legend, like Polybius.

The owner of that legit Crazy Otto board is sitting on a nice tidy sum of cash.

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You think a sum of cash related to the board? Or just because they were one of the principals in GCC.

I don’t think I’d have much interest to play Crazy Otto on a regular basis, but it would be cool to try it even once.

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MAMEDev says this isn’t going to happen, fwiw.

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That is crappy. Got a link to where they shoot down Crazy Otto?

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No link, just a convo I had with one of the MAME Devs. Sounds like there are big legality issues. Not sure if this is on GCC’s side or MAME’s side, but either way it could be enough to keep it out of MAME. We’ll see.

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That’s highly disappointing. Can you get clarification on the legality? I don’t understand what the problem would be. Bally / Midway stuff is in Mame, like Ms. Pac-man / Pac-man, why would this be an issue? I can’t imagine any of those GCC could care less about this early version so many years later….

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It’s depressingly simple: since the entire Internet can easily find out exactly who has the only known working boards, it becomes a much easier point-and-shoot for the legal department of Namco compared to the usual case where they’d first need to figure out the dumper’s actual name. The driver changes were offered to MAMEdev in time for 0.135u3 but were rejected since the ROMs cannot be released. Quite disappointing.

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A very similar screenshot to that shown above appeared in Newsweek during the video game heyday of the 80’s. It had me puzzled as my area had every Pac Man Hack available(It must have been prior to the Ms Pac Man Release) until I stumbled onto the crazy otto story. I tried to track down the Newsweek article to no avail. Maybe someone else will have some luck.

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